Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 361 Reviews

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  • Location:Cairns, Australia
  • Duration:Varies

Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Cruise to Green Island from Cairns and find a tropical paradise on the Great Barrier Reef. You'll spend either four or five hours at Green Island, with plenty of time to snorkel or scuba dive, tour the reef on a glass-bottom boat or view coral from a semi-submersible submarine.


  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest on your Green Island day-trip
  • Variety of activities including glass-bottom boat tours, semi-submarine coral viewing tours, scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Buffet lunch option available
  • Choice of 9:00am and 11:00am departures
  • Optional hotel pickup and drop off available from Cairns hotels

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What You Can Expect

Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Green Island Reef Cruise (ex Cairns)

The beautiful coral cay of Green Island is a protected Marine National Park, topped with emerald rainforest and surrounded by white sandy beaches and magnificent coral reefs. The marine life includes endless varieties of colorful fish, turtles, giant clams, shells, starfish and sea anemones.

Green Island is 15 nautical miles (27 kilometers) from Cairns, and you'll cruise there aboard an air-conditioned catamaran with spacious, luxurious cabins and decks to enjoy Queensland's warm, tropical climate.

En route to Green Island you'll see a snorkeling demonstration and an informative presentation on how you can make the most of your day on Green Island. There are so many activities to choose from: glass-bottom boat tours, semi-submarine coral viewing tours, scuba diving and supervised snorkeling trips. A buffet lunch is served aboard the catamaran for those who have chosen this option and a licensed bar offers refreshments throughout the day.

You can also visit Green Island Resort to browse through the shops and use the facilities, including showers, change rooms and restrooms. canoes, surf skis, sailboards, shade umbrellas and beach lounge chairs are available for hire. The island also has short walking tracks through the national park.

There are two departure times to choose from, 9am or 11am and different package options to select from. You have the flexibility to mix and match the inclusions to make this Green Island experience suit your needs. From a cruise only package that includes a glass bottom boat tour and the use of snorkeling equipment to the ultimate Green Island experience which is also inclusive of transfers from your Cairns hotel, a buffet lunch and semi-submarine tour, the choice is yours.

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The buffet lunch includes: (if option selected)

  • Chicken and vegetable stir fry noodles in a sweet chilli sauce
  • Tasty beef and vegetable curry
  • Vegetarian pasta bake with broccoli, zucchini and corn with a sauce of sundried tomato, garlic and cheese
  • Steamed Jasmine rice
  • Cold meat selection of sliced Champagne ham, roast beef, turkey and mild Hungarian salami
  • Mescalin salad - mixed lettuce leaves
  • Coleslaw salad with red and green cabbage and carrot tossed in mayonnaise
  • Tomato and cucumber salad with onion and feta cheese
  • Salads of diced Beetroot and sweet corn kernels
  • Grated Tasty Cheese
  • Fresh Bread
  • Seasonal Tropical Fruit Platter
Menu subject to change

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

We upgraded to the sub and glass bottomed boat tour. Worth every penny.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This trip was exceptional. I recommend skipping the buffet lunch on the boat and saving money for renting beach chairs and umbrella. The island has a few eateries you can grab food from without having to battle long queues on the boat. And I know 30 AU seems steep for two deck chairs and a umbrella, but it's WELL worth it whilst out on the reef. We loved snorkeling here... we spotted three turtles, a sting ray, tons of fish and even saw a bit of a black-tipped coral reef shark from the glass bottom boat tour. Note - the boat tour is NOT in the same area as the swimmers. I felt perfectly safe snorkeling here. We enjoyed this tour so much, we wished we had more time here.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great full day tour, loved it especially the snorkelling. It was good to have a choice of adding more options on the day like the helicopter or scuba diving. Very worth while and affordable with a great lunch included the only slow bit was the ride back.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

great tour well worth it

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Enjoyed this trip. Was amazing to see the difference of the water level from the time we arrived to the time we left with the tide going out. By end of trip, could get clear pics of reef from pier because of low tide. Took pics of sting ray, shark and the many fish, I totally recommend the lunch option and submersible sub. It was well worth it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

It was a great trip in a great location and offered a good mix of activities and time to do them


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

My husband and I had a lovely day but as we don't swim in hindsight it would have been better to only book the half day trip that goes in the faster boat as the big boat took over an hour to get there. We did the glass bottom boat to look at the reef and the feeding of the fish which was pretty amazing. Had a lovely lunch in the restaurant but there are a couple of other options.
We didn't have hotel pickup because we were very close to the Terminal, so one thing you need to know is you need to take your Viator print out to the Terminal to get the boat ticket, we did this the night before so we would not have to line up the next morning when it was busy.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

It was a fantastic day for the family. Great weather. Children loved snorkeling and the island is a fantastic place to visit. We will be visiting Green Island again next time we are in Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Fabulous snorkling on the reef saw some amazing fish loved it

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Wonderful day, excellent service and very helpful staff. 10 out of 10

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Tour code: 2438FDBIGCAT_CNS


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